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Like the Germans, we sometimes allow the academic
and professorial mind to have too much sway among us ;
jmd widi us this has helped to give currency to the
heresy that everydiing can be settled if men will only sit
together at a table—a view which may be justified on
many occasions but which does not prove to be correct
when the conflicting parties are in the extreme kind of
predicament we have been discussing. Where the
predicament really exists and the question is one of
those which decide whether States are to go up or down
in the world, those who do have the power will not
allow themselves to be talked or voted out of their
strategic positions, any more than empires will go under
without putting up a fight, supposing a fight to be possi-
ble at all. Europeans have had hundreds of years in
which to discuss theological problems, but mere dis-
cussion round a table has not brought them into
agreement oa the disputed points. This was the kind
of issue upon which men can at worst agree to disagree,
though I note that ecclesiastical systems were slow to
come to this arrangement and they went on fightihg
one another, using weapons that kill, as long as it was
feasible to fight at all. But if two different countries are
claiming Gibraltar it is not so easy to setde the matter
by saying that the parties can agree to disagree. The
conference method does not get rid of the difficulty—
it merely transplants the whole predicament into another

While we are at war, and the conflict is a matter of
life or death for us, we may hardly have any part of our
minds free for devoting to a general survey of the